Thursday, January 17, 2008
Write and Be Damned
I cannot tell you the number of successful and even bestselling authors who have told me recently that their latest books have been turned down by their publishers. It is a worrying trend. This was the crux of my key-note speech at a conference in Toronto before Christmas. The publishing industry grows more corporate and rapacious by the day. Also more inefficient and economically insane. I truly believe that the average writer is paying for all those giant mega-deals and mega-publicity payouts for the wannabe Rowlings (wannabe on the part of the publisher, I mean). The Rowling phenomenon cannot be repeated, yet, like addicted gamblers at Las Vegas, the publishers keep trying to create "the next big thing". The end result? Just like those addicted gamblers, they are damaging everyone's livelihoods and the book trade itself. For those of us who still believe in the art of writing, as opposed to flogging our dreams in the marketplace, there can be only one defence. We must stay true to ourselves and the stories that are whispered to our souls.